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Why Activision Blizzard Stock Jumped Wednesday

By Daniel Sparks - Mar 4, 2020 at 4:03PM

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Could coronavirus fears benefit gaming companies?

What happened

Shares of gaming company Activision Blizzard (ATVI 0.53%) jumped on Wednesday, rising 5.5% as of 3:20 p.m. EST.

The stock's gain was likely driven in part by a more than 3% rise in the S&P 500 as well as a report that mobile game downloads jumped in February as many people around the globe -- particularly in China -- stayed inside and turned to games for entertainment.

A chart showing a stock price moving higher

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

As of 3:20 p.m. EST, the S&P 500 was up 3.2% as the market rebounded from the coronavirus sell-off. But some gaming stocks, including Activision Blizzard, saw an outsize gain on Wednesday.

"Gaming has been one of the main beneficiaries in terms of increased time spent due to quarantine," said Stephens analyst Jeff Cohen in a note to investors this week. The analyst says Activision Blizzard will likely benefit from this trend.

Global game downloads jumped 39% in February compared to the previous month, according to data from app analytics company Sensor Tower. 

Now what

About 14% of Activision Blizzard's revenue comes from Asia Pacific, where many of the quarantines have occurred. But the outbreak and the news about the spread of the coronavirus in other countries, however, may be leading many people to stay indoors more frequently.

Investors won't likely know for sure whether this has benefited Activision's business until the company reports first-quarter results.

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